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177 'The Last'

CD audio adventure released October 2004, 4 episodes

Writer: Gary Hopkins
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: Doctor Strangelove, Post-Apocalyptic fiction and fallout shelter stories. Gaia theory and reincarnation as a means of spiritual evolution.

Dialogue Triumphs: "Bombs never work, Voss - have you learned so very little from your own history? War breeds war - one leads from another and then to another and so on ad infinitum, ad nauseum. You must be very proud of what you've achieved."

Continuity: The world of Bortresoye is an Earth-like planet seemingly isolated from the outside universe, but with significant technology accelerated by atomic war, apparently instigated by its leaders including despotic and narcissistic leader Excelsior. Most of the population bar Excelsior's immediate retinue (stationed in a network of underground bunkers) have been killed during the war, and the surface of the world is uninhabitable due to fallout, acid rain and an on-going nuclear winter; much was already overexploited and ravaged through overuse previously. It is also apparent that although rocket technology has been perfected in the area of ballistic warfare, no exploration of inner or outer space has been achieved. Furthermore, the planet is essentially cyclical in nature, a living world with environmental avatars ( Landscar, Requiem) whose task is seemingly to oversee the inevitable course of destruction Excelsior and her people lead the world to, and avert it as they might using their influence. As the people of Bortresoye are the cause of the planet's destruction, it must rid itself of every last individual in order to restart the process. After the planet's destruction its population are reborn, learning in small increments with each incarnation until such time as the planet deems it is safe to break the cycle. Bortresoye is also the location of the various aspects of the Interzone, although it is not apparent what happens to these in the event of the world's destruction -while Landscar is aware of the other zones, he is ignorant of the Divergents.

C'Rizz has an exoskeleton. He reveals a half-moonstone pendant he wears (see: The Next Life), given to him by his father on the day of his wedding to L'da.

Links: The Doctor encounters the shades of Katarina (who died in The Daleks' Master Plan) and Adric (Earthshock). C'rizz and Charley discuss the fate of L'da (Creed of the Kromon)

Location: Bortresoye, part of the Divergent Universe's Interzone network.

The Bottom Line: "All things must die"

Possibly the best use of the timeless Divergent setting since Natural History of Fear. The Last is bleak in its realism (despite some OTT performances) and yet relies on one of the most derided plot mechanics of all time to reach its conclusion, and yet the cheat isn't untrue to the story. Please don't do it again though, Big Finish.

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